Why VoIP is Still the Best Option for Business Phone Systems
February 28, 2014
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Not so long ago, Sci-Fi movies liked to depict calls completed through a computer connection. Whether upon a spaceship light years away or from a government-protected entity to help save the world, this futuristic way of staying connected had us all intrigued. While we haven’t yet reached the Jetsons’ level of flying cars and automatic meals (I’m still hoping for the development on this one) we are making calls over the Internet, with a computer, mobile or standard phone. Business phone systems are incorporating new capabilities and still impacting the bottom line.
VoIP first entered the landscape more than 30 years ago when engineers tested the technology and successfully completed a call between two computers leveraging the Internet. This was long before the days when we relied exclusively on Google (News - Alert) to find us information, Amazon to provide our toys and eBay to satisfy our need to compete against others for the prize. As we rely more and more on the information superhighway to support our everyday lives, business phone systems have to support VoIP.
The push for VoIP is not solely based on our need for new technology, however. The cost savings promised out of the gate are still delivering this many years later. Canadian phone and wireless companies are aiming to address this demand in the market by offering packages that appeal to the price-conscious user. This means lower rates and fewer restrictions to deliver the cost savings they want. It may be too little, too late, as VoIP has been an available alternative to landline and cell phone services for years.
For Canadians, there is a challenge. While VoIP has been available for more than a decade to consumers and businesses there, many still don’t know what it is or how to use it to their benefit. This technology that turns voice conversations into digital signals and sent across the Internet like any other data stream so they can be converted back into voice on the other end of the line delivers considerable cost and efficiency benefits to companies putting the platform in place. The operation requires very little bandwidth or infrastructure, making it easy to deploy where needed.
Early adopters did tend to experience latency and performance issues. Voice quality was not the best as users tried to launch the technology over networks not quite ready to handle the traffic. It didn’t help that brands like Vonage (News - Alert) entered the scene and failed to deliver on the quality promises made. Fortunately, those days are long gone and high speech connects and access to expanded broadband capabilities means VoIP connectivity is as crystal clear as the best landline call.
As a result, VoIP is now readily used within the home and business, leveraged as a solid service that allows for the streamlining of information, conversations and applications across the same network. It makes call recording easier, it enables collaboration regardless of platforms selected and supports video conferencing. If information needs to be captured, mined and stored from important conversations, it’s easily done with this platform.
Today, business phone systems incorporate VoIP as the key technology to support business intelligence throughout the network and the corporation. It provides the foundation for a unified approach to communications and the streamlining of information so the business can focus on moving itself forward in the market. With low-cost communications that allow more time for other core business functions, the cost savings go beyond the elimination of long distance charges and the in-house infrastructure.
For all businesses, staying connected is still vital. VoIP provides a quality way to do so that easily integrates into other elements of the business for optimal support. With this approach to communications, success is only limited by the imagination.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson